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Population: 3,147 (urban, 2009)

Altitude: 220 meters

Fiestas Patronales: June 16 to 27


Nindirí is a small city that makes up in charm what it lacks in size. A series of dedicated municipal governments have ensured that Nindirí roads are in good order, the sidewalks are clean and the buildings brightly painted. Nindirí has two sources of pride: a lively central square, where families stroll and students play basketball in the afternoons, and a history that can be traced back to early Chorotega settlements. The statue in the central plaza is of Cacique Tenderí who had the misfortune to be the local leader when the Spanish arrived.


Museo Tenderi (505-8-954-0570, open 8 to noon and 2 to 5 p.m., weekdays) has an extensive, if not particularly well ordered, collection of pre-Hispanic pottery, including a large display of incense burners that date as far back as 1500 B.C. The museum has over 1,500 items, including funeral pots, ceramic jaguars and even colonial era cavalry equipment.


La Iglesia Parroquial Santa Ana (1529) is home to the Cristo del Volcán (whose reputed powers kept Nindirí from harm during the massive 1772 volcanic eruption), but the lady of the house and city’s patron saint is still the most celebrated. During the July Fiestas Patronales, locals culminate a week of festivities with parades, traditional dances and food. Eunice Poveda López (505-8-969-0517) at Nindirí’s city hall, can give you details of the festivities and also works as a local guide. Her day-long tours include trips to Volcán Masaya, visits to area furniture and shoe makers and stops at Iglesia Santa Ana, which was renovated in 2003.


Restaurant La Llamarada, one of the few formal eateries in Nindirí, suffered a setback in 2009 when the grandmotherly owner broke her arm. The location (one block north of Iglesia Santa Ana, 505-2-522-4110) was closed in April. Locals highly recommend the restaurant, which serves dishes such as chicken in wine sauce, beef tongue and fritanga, so stop by and see if La Llamarada has reopened while you’re in the area.


Restaurant Rincon Tipico (Mains: C$85 to C$120; 505-2-522-2988, Carr. Masaya, km 25) is a popular local hangout for Nindirí residents (especially now that La Llamarada is closed). The eatery has a fairly standard, open plan dining area, filled with white plastic furniture. You’ll never be able to accuse Rincon Tipico of haute cuisine, but the establishment does have a solid selection of bar food, from tacos and wings to ribs and pork skin crunchies. Their main dishes are the normal beef, pork and chicken selections and the beers are cold. The restaurant is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to midnight and weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.


You won’t find any guesthouses within the center of Nindirí, since the municipality is too small to draw many overnight visitors, but if you’re intent on staying nearby (and don’t want to make the short hop to Masaya), you can find a few hotels along Carr. Masaya. Las Cabanas Encantadas de Nindirí has rustic hillside cabins and great views (505-2-949-1363; double US$60, triple $70, quadruple $80, with breakfast included. Cash only). The cabanas have cable TV and air conditioning, as well as well-equipped kitchenettes, private bathrooms and small sitting areas. (Each cabin is designed to comfortably accommodate two guests, with room for two more on a foldout bed.) Tiny porches open onto a gorgeous view of Lago Masaya and the distant volcanoes; the hotel’s hammock-strung mirador is on the edge of the ancient Volcan Masaya lava field. While there is also a hot tub at the mirador, the dusty cover suggested that it isn’t often in use. If you’re a light sleeper, be aware that the cabins are not too far from the busy highway.



Other places nearby Nindirí: San Juan de Oriente, Masatepe, Casares, La Boquita, Diriamba, San Marcos, Catarina, Diriomo, Masaya and Diria.

By Rachael Hanley
A sometime newspaper journalist with a heavy side of wanderlust, Rachael moved to Quito in November to work on the V!VA staff. She is currently...
09 Jun 2009

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